Detail View

Object Name: mariner's compass
Date: 1840-1858
Inventory Number: DW0311
Classification: Magnetic Compass
Geography: United States, Boston
Maker: Robert Merrill
1804 - 1876
Maker: Frederic Walker Lincoln Jr.
1817 - 1898
Dimensions: 18.1 x 25.2 x 25.4 cm (7 1/8 x 9 15/16 x 10 in.)
Materials: pine, glass, brass, iron, paper
Description: The magnetic compass is suspended in coppery-brass bowl on gimbals. The card has a bar needle underneath and jeweled pivot. The wind rose is black on green paper. It has 32 points marked in English initials, and is divided on a silvered brass ring around the limb, 0-90-0-90-0 degrees. The original card is signed by Robert Merrill of New York. A paste-over label has the name of Frederick W. Lincoln, Jr. of Boston.

The compass is housed in pine box painted black with a star on the sliding lid.
Signed: wind rose signed: ROBERT MERRILL NEW YORK.

sticker pasted on wind rose: FREDERIC W. LINCOLN, JR. / No. 126 Commercial St. / BOSTON.
Historical Attributes: This mariner's compass is associated with two prominent makers, Robert Merrill of New York and Frederick Walker Lincoln, Jr. of Boston. Lincoln was the great-grandson of Paul Revere. He served as Boston’s mayor in 1858-1860 and 1863-1867, a term that coincided with the Civil War.
Sign on